Learning a new language is valuable in so many ways. It allows you to connect with people across borders and cultures, can help your business relations, and keeps your brain active. But finding the time to actually study the language that you want to learn can be a challenge.
This is where language learning apps come in. They’re great to use on-the-go, easy to boot up, and you can often choose how much time you spend on language learning in a day. We’ve scoured the Internet and made this list of the very best language learning apps out there! We've also included a buying guide to help you narrow down the choices and find the right language learning app for you.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
Table of Contents
The apps we’ve introduced here are only a few out of a great pool of options. They are fairly general and support several languages.
But if you’re looking for a different language that those apps don’t cover, or you want a more specific type of app, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the app best suited for your language learning.
Take a look at your schedule and gauge how much time you want to set aside for learning a new language. Remember, the more time you put in, the faster you’ll improve.
If you want to really dedicate yourself, setting aside an hour or more every day, you’ll want to find an app with enough content that you can realistically do that. An app that has courses or a social aspect might work well for this.
On the other hand, perhaps you’re very busy and can’t give more than a few minutes a day. A better choice might be an app that focuses on building vocabulary one word at a time, or at the very least offers shorter courses.
How do you best learn? It's said there are seven types of learning styles (visual, aural, verbal, physical, logical, social, and solitary) and you will progress faster if you opt for something that supports your best style.
If you pick up most by listening (aural), you’ll want to find something with recorded examples. People make great language learning podcasts, so perhaps a podcast app is your solution. Or if you prefer visual representation, an app that features images might suit you better.
Similarly, you can find apps that suit several learning styles, or you can even combine them. You can watch shows in your target language and simultaneously read the subtitles in that language to maximize your input.
But remember, you should still practice the four central skills in language learning, which are listening, reading, writing, and speaking!
How are you going to use the language once you learn it? Answering this question will help you see where you should put your efforts in.
Maybe there are certain aspects of your target language that you want to learn quicker or better. For example, if your goal is to enjoy music in that language better, you’ll want to focus on your listening skills and vocabulary.
Practicing grammar is important if you’re taking tests or exams in that language. It will be necessary to find an app that can break down grammar points so that you can easily understand them. Apps with courses should be perfect for this. You might want to consider app with access to a teacher, too.
Perhaps you’ve got the basic grammar down, but need the words to use it with. If you want to widen your vocabulary, there are some excellent spaced repetition apps out there. They’ll show you a word repeatedly, increasing the amount of time in between, which is a great way of remembering something.
And with most of these apps, you can even choose how many new words you want to learn every day!
Sometimes, you just want to get out there and use your newfound knowledge right away. By taking a practical approach to language, you can increase your fluency fast.
Social language learning apps are really good for practicing a language in real-time. You can write to other users, make friends and language exchange partners, and even receive corrections from native speakers.
With a social app, you also get the opportunity to read your target language, and sometimes speak it, if you’re willing to send voice messages or make calls.
There are other things to consider in a language learning app than the aspects of language. Consider what kind of practical elements you want in your app.
Having a teacher you can turn to when there’s something you don’t understand can make your language learning process easier. It might be worth investing in an app that lets you find and either call or message a teacher directly when you have questions.
Some languages, like Chinese or Russian, use different writing systems, which serves as an extra challenge. In those cases, you’ll want to consider app that implement these in ways that you can work with and understand.
Look for apps that support writing practice, which can be really valuable if you’re learning to write those Chinese characters.
Using a language app that offers some form of testing or quizzing yourself is going to be crucial if your language study is part of your school or education program. Testing is also a terrific way to see your progress.
On the other hand, if you’re just studying for fun and don’t want the extra hassle or stress that comes with exams, this function might not be as important to you.
There are many language learning apps that put more focus into their social aspects. Some even function as a low-key social media platform. These type of apps let you find and interact with speakers of your target language, which is a great way to learn it naturally!
Click to purchase
The Language Learning App That Has Everything
Bite-Sized Courses for Everyday Progression
Immerse Yourself in the Language the Right Way
Dedicate Yourself and Achieve Real Understanding
The Vocabulary App for Visual Learners
Effective and Efficient Self-Study
The Best Free Language Learning App on the Market
For Language Enthusiasts Who Want a Daily Goal
The Most Powerful Flashcard App on the Internet
Learn a New Language Through Social Interactions
With this app you can find specialized courses to suit your needs, look up grammar, cram vocabulary, make friends, and much more. It even has a planning feature that helps you organize your time so that you can learn faster! What more could we ask for?
It’s received great reviews, too. Its myriad of features are praised extensively. Reviewers say the free version is excellent, although many agree that it’s worth paying the subscription fee for those extra perks.
A few report that they have had issues with payment, but the developers are very responsive and quick to try to sort things out for those who encounter problems.
With this app you can take short courses and learn a little every day, which is perfect for busy people. It focuses on all four elements of language learning, and helps you review the things you’ve learned.
Research from Yale University and Michigan State University shows that using this app has increased people’s test scores and oral proficiency after just one month. Some of the reviewers say this app is especially good for beginners, as it allows anyone to start from zero and quickly progress through the courses.
Several people criticized the app keyboard, which is different from the phone’s native keyboard, and for now there’s no option to change that. However, the reading and writing practices are highlighted by users as an overall pro.
With this app, you can create a personalized plan for language learning based on your own motivations. With the immersion method, you’ll progress quickly, and you can even practice your speaking skills and receive instant feedback!
Fun and engaging seem to be keywords from users of this app. Some even say it’s addictive. They prefer its free version over many other free language learning apps.
Some feel like an in-app dictionary or translation service is missing, but most praise this app endlessly!
Pimsleur offers high quality language courses for the serious learner. It focuses heavily on conversational skills, but contains features for all elements of language learning.
Its courses are longer, but on the flip-side, you’ll progress fast and better learn the core of your target language. You’ll build practical language skills that you can use right away in the real world.
Users love the app’s review function, which allows them to recollect things they’ve learned in their lessons. It’s also being recommended for the audio lessons that people can listen to while doing other things like walking or chores.
A consistent low-point seems to be the app being buggy, although it’s also said that the developers work hard to fix those bugs!
This is a visual app that feeds you quick, five-minute sessions of vocabulary practice. It has no grammar lessons, but offers to teach you alphabets of foreign languages like Korean and Russian. With a rapid pace and low threshold, you’ll have no excuse not to practice with this app!
Reviewers love the app’s simplicity! They keep saying it’s easy to pick up new vocabulary, and many swear by its paid version. It appears that some language vocabulary are missing crucial prefixes, though, which is a con for a few users. On the other hand, people love the gaming quality of language learning that the app offers!
This is another well-rounded app that offers various functions for the versatile learner. While it contains many different languages, it has particularly good lessons for some Asian languages like Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Vietnamese.
With LingoDeer, you can learn grammar, learn by retaining, and take the courses offline. It also offers practical tests that you can take to assess your current level. Its review score is incredibly high, and users say they progress easily and fast with this app.
They like it as a self-learning tool, but also think it goes well along with taking a language class. Users of the free version find the constant prompt to go premium somewhat annoying. But overall, this is an app that is recommended by many long-term users!
Duolingo is a highly recommended app, mostly because it offers high-quality learning for free. It’s user-friendly and lessons play like mini-games, making the hustle a little more fun along the way. Do as much or as little as you want every day, and soon you’ll have progressed a lot!
Users praise the learning curve, and consequently the growth they get from this app. Although the ads and hearts system are an annoyance to some, most reviewers realize how incredibly valuable the this app is as a free resource!
Memrise is another app that offers specialized courses. Most prominent is its flashcard-style of learning, although it’s so much more than a simple flashcard app. You can search among hundreds of custom-made courses to find the thing that you want to learn. Set your daily goal and earn points while you study.
This is an app that’s constantly praised for being user-friendly. The gamification of language learning is also highlighted as a plus. Some people seem to be having problems with a recent update, but the developers have been very responsive regarding this and will hopefully fix any bugs or glitches in the near future!
You can learn anything with this app, and it’s especially effective for learning and remembering new vocabulary. Create your own study decks or browse from thousands of user-made decks online.
It uses spaced repetition, wherein you decide how well you recall a word or its meaning, and the app calculates how often you should repeat the word from that.
Users love how flexible and adjustable this app is. According to them, it does have a steep learning curve, but after understanding how to utilize it, it becomes a powerful learning tool. It's best used in conjunction with the free desktop program for more options.
This is a highly social app that allows you to make friends and chat with people in different languages. It has lots of features that let people easily correct one another’s mistakes, translate messages, and send voice messages, pictures, or make calls. You can even join live language classes online and learn from a real teacher!
People like this app a lot for its concept, but reviewers find it a bit too restrictive. Some of the restrictions are lifted in the VIP version, though. Regardless, this is a great app to use for finding language exchange partners!
If you're heading out to practice some of those new language skills of yours, you want to make sure you have a comfortable journey. Check out some of our recommended products that will make your trip enjoyable!
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
AppsBusiness apps, Cooking apps, Dating apps
Home goodsBath supplies, Ceremonial occasion supplies, Cleaning supplies
Home electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, AV accessories, Blenders and food processors
PCComputer supplies, Desktop computers, Tablets
CameraCamera bags and backpacks, Camera supplies, Digital single lens cameras
BeautyBlushes, Bronzers, Cleansers
HealthBody care products, Health accessories, Health foods and supplements
Food and drinksAlcohol, Breads and jams, Cocktails and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages
KitchenCoffee and tea products, Cooking utensils, Cups
FashionFootwear products, Men's shoes, Sandals
AccessoriesWristwatches, Accessories and jewelry, Umbrellas and parasols
Kids and babyBaby carriers, Baby food, Baby formula
InteriorBeds, Beds and bedding, Chairs
HobbiesAromatherapy products, Art supplies, Arts and collectibles
OutdoorBarbecue grills and fire pits, Camping beds and cots, Camping gear
Home, garden, and toolsAgricultural materials and gardening supplies, Exterior and garden furniture, Materials and repairing agents
Sports and fitnessSports shoes, Surfing supplies, Badminton supplies
PetsBird and small animal supplies, Cat supplies, Dog supplies
MediaBooks and magazines, CD, Children's books, picture books and illustrated encyclopedias
GamesGaming accessories, Nintendo Switch games, PC games
AutomotiveCar accessories, Car navigation systems
GiftsChristmas gifts, Father's Day gifts, Gifts for children
Mobile devicesMobile phone and smartphone accessories, Wearable devices and smart watches